It’s not just military officers who continue to read and learn from The Art of War, Sun Tzu’s ancient Chinese classic on military strategy. Many business leaders have found this book from the 6th century B.C. a source of wisdom for the “warfare” among competing businesses.
But who has time to wade through the entire book to find the advice most relevant to business? That’s why the late Gerald Michaelson converted Sun Tzu’s insights into business lessons in the bestselling Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers, Now Michaelson’s son Steven has updated the book, including these basic principles of business success.
- Organize an intelligence system: Know your market as well as you know yourself. Decision-making must be data driven.
- Establish a secure position: Strengthen your core competencies. Occupy a position that cannot easily be taken by your opponent.
- Keep on the offensive: This preserves freedom of action and keeps you in control.
- Think maneuvre: Find lightly defended or unoccupied competitive positions that will put you at an advantage and your opponent at a disadvantage.
- Concentrate your resources: Mass sufficiently superior force at the decisive place and time. Be a guerrilla when you can’t be a gorilla. The strongest at any given time and place will always defeat the weakest.
- Keep it simple: The simple works best. Even the simplest plans can be difficult to execute.